Maui - Day 1 Maui - Day 2 Maui - Day 3 Maui - Day 4 Maui - Day 5 Maui - Day 6 Maui - Day 7 Maui - Day 8
Kauai - Day 1 Kauai - Day 2 Kauai - Day 3 Kauai - Day 4 Kauai - Day 5 Kauai - Day 6 Kauai - Day 7
Kauai - Day 8 Kauai - Day 9 Kauai - Day 10 Kauai - Day 11 Kauai - Day 12 Kauai - Day 13 Kauai - Day 14 Kauai - Day 15

Maui - Day 8 - Friday, November 29, 2013

Aloha and Welcome to our vacation.

Breakfast at Tasty CrustWoke up before the sun today.  Randy didn't feel like going for a run, so we just took our time getting ready and then we went out for breakfast (for a change).  We decided to try a diner in Wailuku that the locals go to called Tasty Crust.  This was a true, old-style diner, and it looked like we were the only tourists in there.  I ordered the fried rice with egg, and Randy had the banana pancakes with a side of hash browns.  Randy had ordered two pancakes, not knowing that each pancake was the size of a dinner plate.  So, needless to say, he wasn't able to finish all his meal (There wasn't any coconut syrup, but that's ok, the pancakes came with a huge dollop of butter !).  My fried rice was really good - it tasted just like the way that Randy's mom makes fried rice.  I had never had a fried egg on fried rice before, but I definitely like it!

  We had booked a tour at a vodka distillery at 10:30am, so when we finished breakfast at 8:30 we had some time on our hands.  So, we decided to go to the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm.  Normally it is a $3 admission to the farm, but because it was 'Black Friday', admission was free.  You can take a guided tour for $12, but we decided to just wander around ourselves.  There were a few varieties of lavender, along with a number of other plants and flowers.  I checked out the gift shop and then we headed out for our tour at Ocean Vodka.

We arrived about half an hour early, so the gal in the gift shop gave us a couple different pieces of sugar cane to try, and then we wandered around taking a few pictures before the tour started.  We had a small tour group - just us and 3 local ladies.  We were given a history of the company, and the challenges they have had to become an organic vodka distillery.  They have been in business since 2005, but only opened their new distillery and farm tour in April 2013.  And they just recently got their license to do vodka tastings - and they let you take photos of everything.

Ocean Vodka distilleryWe were toured around some of the sugar cane (that the vodka is made from) and then went into the building to see their production facility.  They do 'just in time' inventory ordering and shipping - so they don't have a large footprint to store supplies or product.  The actual production line is quite small - but it does the trick.  At the end of the tour, we had a vodka tasting.  First, we had a tasting of the water they use to make the vodka.  This water is desalinated deep-water ocean mineral water from the Big Island.  The water is brought to the surface from 3000 feet below the island, and the sodium is filtered out, but minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.  The water had a very clean taste to it.

Next, we sipped the vodka.  This was done in a 3-step process.  First we had a small sip to get our palate adjusted to the taste of alcohol.  This first sip is normally a little bitter/harsh.  Next, we took another sip, but swirled it around our mouth to hit all the different taste buds.  For our last sip, the tour guide added some of the water to it.  It is in this last sip that you can really taste the vodka itself.  Apparently this is the process that people use when doing tastings of any spirit.  We found out from the guide that Ocean Vodka can be found in two Canadian provinces - and one of them is Alberta!  Yay!  (the other is Quebec).  So, that saves us from having to pack a bottle in our suitcase to bring home.

Randy & Janet at Haleakala craterAfter the tour, we decided to drive up to Haleakala National Park.  It is a very twisty road, and so it took about 45 minutes to get there from Ocean Vodka.  In the park we were above the clouds, and it was quite cold up there (around 55 degrees F or 12 degrees C).  We had brought some light jackets with us - so that helped a bit, but we were still in shorts and flip flops.  But it was definitely worth the trip - as there was some really cool landscape up there.  And going from sea level to 10,000 feet was pretty cool as well.  The park has a lot of hiking trails, so we saw a lot of people that were ready to head out on some hikes (dressed more appropriately than us).  We went to see the crater, and then went to the summit, and then pretty much just headed back down the mountain - to warm up !.

By the time we got to Kahului, it was 2:30pm, and we were getting pretty darn hungry.  So, we stopped at Da Kitchen again to have some plate lunches.  I had a Korean chicken plate lunch, and Randy had the katsu cutlet plate lunch.  My meal was a typical plate lunch amount of food.  However, Randy's seemed to have about a pound of chicken katsu on it!  Even though he was starving when he started eating, he was unable to eat it all, and we ended up taking the leftovers back to the condo with us.

By the time we got back to the condo, it was almost 4:00pm, so we just hung out for the rest of the evening.  I spent some time organizing pictures and doing up the journal.  We did some packing as we were flying to Kauai the next day.  Since we had a big lunch, we just snacked on some of the leftovers we had - like the pineapple salsa and leftover plate lunch. 

It seemed to be a very loud evening at the resort.  Our balcony overlooks the pool, and there were a bunch of screaming kids splashing around.  Our next door  neighbours were having a big family gathering and were rather loud as well.  We finally closed up the doors and windows and turned the air conditioning on (for the first time) so that we could even hear the TV.